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Recordings & Discussions of Other Vocal Works: Main Page | Motets BWV 225-231 | Mass in B minor BWV 232 | Missae Breves & Sanctus BWV 233-242 | Magnificat BWV 243 | Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 | Johannes-Passion BWV 245 | Lukas-Passion BWV 246 | Markus-Passion BWV 247 | Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248 | Oster-Oratorium BWV 249 | Chorales BWV 250-438 | Geistliche Lieder BWV 439-507 | AMN BWV 508-523 | Quodlibet BWV 524 | Aria BWV 1127

Matthäus-Passion BWV 244

General Discussions - Part 11

Continue from Part 10

BWV 244 recording recommendation needed!

Jim Offer wrote (May 13, 2005):
Greetings. I'm new here and fairly new to serious music listening. I'm a college student from New Jersey majoring in English.

I've been looking over the reviews on the Bach Cantatas site, and I've decided from the discussions and from Teri Noel Towe's article, that I would like to purchase either the Lehmann, Wöldike, Göttsche or the second Ramin recording. The problem is, the Lehmann seems to only be available in the version that's missing a measure here and there, the two umlaut-bearing conductors are out of print in the US, and the Ramin is only available from Berkshire (which means I have to think of some more CDs that I really want that are rare enough to be in their catalog; most of my planned purchases are still in print).

Now, here is where I need advice. Bayer Music Group offers two Göttsche sets. One is 9 Euros, the other is 18. They charge 28 Euros for shipping to the USA, regardless of which I order. A total cost of 37 is reasonable, to me, for a rare, high-quality recording. 46 is pushing it. The cover art can be seen on the bayermusicgroup.com site, and the two editions there match the two images on the Bach Cantatas site. Obviously, some of you have heard at least one of them. Maybe some of you have heard both. Is there a difference between them? Is, perhaps, the 9-Euro version (with the full-color crucifixion) marred by recording defects or anything else obnoxious? Is the 18-Euro one with the monochrome drawing (etching?) of Christ carrying the cross the one to get?

Alternately, how's the 1952 Ramin? The quality of the 1941 version has been praised (I want the complete work, though), and I know Haeflinger from the Jochum SJP. But even the best can have a bad day, and it's an old recording. $12 is a bargain; even if I order something else I don't like (to meet the $15 minimum) I'll have still saved money. But that's only true if the two SMPs compare in quality levels, and the Göttsche will have the advantage of more modern recording equipment.

One other thought occurs: am I wrong about the Lehmann? The version for sale by the regular, in-print only companies (Tower, arkivmusic.com, etc) totals 199:21 compared to the 200:31 quoted on the Cantatas site. If anyone wants to take a look at the cover art and tell me Arkiv Music has the time wrong, I can go ahead and order it along with all the other stuff I plan to get from them. (And maybe if people have enough to say about this recording, the resulting discussion can replace the off-topic political stuff currently located here: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV244-Lehmann.htm)

Thanks,

John Pike wrote (May 13, 2005):
[To Jim Offer] The Lehmann was recently chosen as one of the 3 very best recordings of all time by Dr Simon Heighes in a review of SOME of the recordings in BBC Music Magazine. The others were Harnoncourt 3 and McCreesh. I would certainly agree with the latter 2 recommendations but I don't know the Lehmann.

Bradley Lehman wrote (May 13, 2005):
[To John Pike] Nor do I, but I like his 1955 rec of the Brahms German Requiem. Our public library had a bunch of sealed overstock copies for $3 and it was impossible to pass up....

On BWV 244 I'm still fond of the Wöldike (among others) as mentioned in the question. That used to be available from both www.broinc.com and www.allegro-music.com , on and off, but it's apparently not there now.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (May 14, 2005):
[To Jim Offer] I would not recommend the Ramin, largely because of the abridgements. Of the standard version, I would recommend the Mauersberger bros. (Rudolf [Kantor of the Dresdener Kreuzkirche and leader of the Dresdener Kreuzchor] and Erhard {Thomaskantor and leader of the Thomanerchor zu Leipzig]), and the three earlier Richter recordings. Of the 1742 version, I would recommend the 1979 Richter recording. Of the 1727/1729 version, I would recommend the Henning recording.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (May 14, 2005):
John Pike wrote:
< The Lehmann was recently chosen as one of the 3 very best recordings of all time by Dr Simon Heighes in a review of SOME of the recordings in BBC Music Magazine. The others were Harnoncourt 3 and McCreesh. I would certainly agree with the latter 2 recommendations but I don't know the Lehmann. >
I recently got the Lehman on Lys and do not care for it at all. I know my opinion is not the most informed here only that of a life-long Bach lover (not worshipper). I simply don't care for it. I find the Harnoncourt 3 (I have all three, yippe for me) over-hyped and not that fascinating. I have never heard the McCreesh and probably won't. I have too much that I do not listen to enough. The Harnoncourt2 is very pedestrian and the Harnoncourt1 would be fascinating IF there were Great Boy Singers which there are not.

Bradley Lehman wrote:
< On BWV 244 I'm still fond of the Wöldike (among others) as mentioned in the question. That used to be available from both www.broinc.com and www.allegro-music.com, on and off, but it's apparently not there now. >
Ah, Brad, what was available and is available from broinc if one is always ready to strike when the iron is hot (spending money at every moment albeit super-duper saved money). After having the Wöldike for centuries on LPs, I got the CDs at broinc for C.$6.00 as I recall. Of course it is R-M that was the main attraction to me although I largely prefer the Scherchen with this same goddess these days. But, to repeat, if one is always ready to strike at broinc (I am no longer collecting so much as CDs are rapidly reaching the level or my former LP collection) and there is not much room left for me or my non-existent cat:-).

Eric Bergerud wrote (May 14, 2005):
[To John Pike] With 40 versions available I'd think one could find a few SMPs that would please. I realize that there are some critics that seem to equate very old recordings with spirituality. Personally I went through that stage and now only hear really old recordings. If one likes the old oratorio approach, Klemperer, Mengelberg and Richter are all available. A friend of mine has Brüggen's done with the Orchestra of the 18th Century and a gang of terrific soloists: I heard about half and it's impressive. I like Harnoncourt's boys but then again I always do. If you like boys in the chorus but not the soloists, Cleobury has a DVD version out for under $20 and it's good. Gardiner and Suzuki will both appeal to modern tastes. I like McCreesh a lot - but it's OVPP and offend some.

Jim Offer wrote (May 13, 2005):
[To David Glenn Lebut Jr.] I was avoiding the 1941 2-disc Ramin for that reason. However, there is a 3-disc recording of the SMP, made under his direction, from 1952. It features Ernst Haeflinger. Is this also cut? It would have to be pretty intact to be on 3 cds, wouldn't it?

Berkshire says:
Bach, St. Matthew Passion. (Elfride Trotschel, Gertrude Pitzinger, Ernst Haefliger, Gerhard Groschel, Helmut Fehn. Choruses & Hessian Radio Orch./ Ramin. Rec. Frankfurt, 3/17/52)

<snip>

Jim Offer wrote (May 15, 2005):
<snip>
I am going to go ahead and get this from broinc if someone else hasn't snapped it up, since I'm still worried that the Lehmann version in print is the one with measures missing here and there. I guess there's no avoiding becoming a collector; I know I'll be searching Berkshire periodically for Wöldike, Göttsche and... Balzer. And that's without considering the whole HIP can of worms. Thanks to everyone who responded.

 

Beyond Rifkin

Charles Francis wrote (May 27, 2005):
In the files section I've placed some extracts from a little known minimalist interpretation of the Matthew Passion: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/files/Beyond%201VPP/

This ground breaking German performance made some ten years ago, breaks new musicological ground by going beyond Rifkin's 'ideal' and representing, albeit in a somewhat anachronistic manner, Bach's performance practice on occasions when flu and other epidemics impacted his resources.

 

Walter Ludwig MP film

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (November 23, 2005):
I just got the lebendige Vergangenheit Walter Ludwig CD. I've had both the v.Karajan and the Kittel MPs with him and the vK first Messe b-moll. In the notes to the l.V. CD it says in one enigmatic sentence that "Walter Ludwig also took part in a film version of 'St. Matthew Passion', which aroused great controversy".

Of interest also on this CD is the presence of two arias from an opera by Graener called Friedemann Bach and two songs by this composer (Graener) of whom I have never heard.

Thomas Braatz wrote (November 23, 2005):
Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote:
>>Of interest also on this CD is the presence of two arias from an opera by Graener called Friedemann Bach and two songs by this composer (Graener) of whom I have never heard.<<
Both Ludwig K. Mayer, MGG1, Bärenreiter, 1986 and David Cummings,Grove Music Online, Oxford University Press, 2005, acc. 11/22/05, have rather extensive articles about Paul Graener (born in Berlin, 11 Jan 1872; died in Salzburg, 13 Nov 1944).

The name of one of his operas is "Friedemann Bach" an opera in 3 acts, op. 90, first performance in Schwerin at the Mecklenburgische Staatsoper on 13 Nov. 1931, then in Berlin the same year; music printed by Breitkopf & Härtel; the libretto based upon a famous romantic novel by Brachvogel and adapted by R. Lothar. Walter Ludwig created the title role and sang it at the 1st performance.

David Cummings comments as follows: >>The neo-Baroque features of this work [Hanneles Himmelfahrt (1927)] are further exploited in Graener's next opera, Friedemann Bach (1931), based on Brachvogel's apocryphal novel of the same name. Here the musical argument is framed by a conscious use of such devices as chorale and fugato. Quotations from the music of the Bach family are used to depict the main characters, with the B-A-C-H motif representing Johann Sebastian and a melody ascribed to Wilhelm Friedemann portraying his eldest son. During the 1930s both Hanneles Himmelfahrt and Friedemann Bach remained in the repertory of German opera houses as a result of the composer's staunch support for the Nazis. In addition, the simple and other- worldly qualities in these operas accorded with the reactionary theories of the new political masters. The Nazis even overlooked the fact that the librettist of Friedemann Bach was of Jewish origin.<<

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (November 23, 2005):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< During the 1930s both Hanneles Himmelfahrt and Friedemann Bach remained in the repertory of German opera houses as a result of the composer's staunch support for the Nazis. In addition, the simple and other- worldly qualities in these operas accorded with the reactionary theories of the new political masters. The Nazis even overlooked the fact that the librettist of Friedemann Bach was of Jewish origin. >
Thank you for the information on the composer, the opera, and the librettist. To my regret I read this unpleasant stuff before having listened to the music. As to various persons whom the Nazis accepted in spite of Jewish connections, we were recently told that Max Lorenz's Jewish wife was allowed to remain alive and remain his wife bc. he was such an outstanding Siegfried. These gentlemen were able to forgive anything for great art.

As to my other question:
< In the notes to the l.V. CD it says in one enigmatic sentence that "Walter Ludwig also took part in a film version of 'St. Matthew Passion', which aroused great controversy". >
The German notes add "als eigenwilliges Experiment" or rather the English notes forgot to translate that part in what are always minimal notes in Lebendige Vergangenheit issues.

Thomas Braatz wrote (November 23, 2005):
Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote:
>>The German notes add "als eigenwilliges Experiment" or rather the English notes forgot to translate that part in what are always minimal notes in Lebendige Vergangenheit issues.<<
"als eigenwilliges Experiment" = "he decided to go through with it/risk it despite recommendations or even protestations from others not to do so -- he was headstrong in wanting to try something like this out, something which was very new and different for him."

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (November 23, 2005):
[To Thomas Braatz] Yes, thank you again, Thomas. I understood the German (the German of these notes never takes a great deal of deep philological knowledge to understand). However I remain surprised that with the collective knowledge on this list nobody knows this film. Here is the whole sentence (be warned: my English typing is bad and my German typing will be worse most likely): "Walter Ludwig wirkte auch damals in einer filmischen Gestaltung der Matthäus-Passion mit, die als eigenwilliges Experiment grosse Beachtung erfuhr". It would seem that the "headstrongness" is not ascribed to him but to the film and its creators. To what extent he mitwirkte could vary from substantial, creative input < simply performing the evangelist and thus having no real participatory control at all outside of the power that any performer has to refuse a gig. Also I see "aroused great controversy" as much stronger a judgment than "erfuhr grosse Beachtung".

While we are at it I owe myself an apology for writing last night: " I just got the lebendige Vergangenheit Walter Ludwig CD. I've had both the v.Karajan and the Kittel MPs with him and the vK first Messe b-moll".

The Messe is either b-minor or h-moll. My brain conflated them. I have had that on my mind most of the night and couldn't sleep:-).

As to the Graener items, now that I have listened, they seem innocuous enough, neither revelations nor odious.

Mike Mannix wrote (November 27, 2005):
Hitler's favourite opera was 'The Merry Widow', but that did not save Lehar's Jewish librettist from death in the concentration camps.

 

Who recognizes this BWV 244 album ??

Willem Varenk wrote (February 12, 2006):
I have a collection of SMP's, 55 versions by now. Of all of those I know: Conductor, Year, Orchestra, Soloists and Choirs, exept one:

I recently bought (eBay) this 3cd-album (actually not a boxset but 3 cd's, belonging togethter) and neither on the CD-cases nor on the cd's is anything about the performers.

I contacted the company that distributed these cd's but they apparently can't give me any information as (according to this company) their licensor does not provide them with that information. So, as a result, I have this one version in my collection of which I know nothing, except it's not one of my other 54 versions.

Anyone recognize this album, with on the front a stained-glass-picture with guy carrying a cross??

If so: who are the performers??

<img src="http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y42/grootmokum/SMPfront2.jpg"
height="50" width="50">

<img src="http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y42/grootmokum/SMPback2.jpg"
height="50" width="50">

Aryeh Oron wrote (February 12, 2006):
[To Willem Varenk] Welcome aboard.

I am aware of 111 complete (or near complete) recordings if SMP, all of them
(but 1) are listed at the BCW. See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV244.htm

Of those I have at my disposal about 60 something, none of them has the same cover photo as the 'mysterious' album.

The cover photo you put is too small for reading. What are the label name and the TT?

Willem Varenk wrote (February 12, 2006):
[To Aryeh Oron (and others)] I could not find a simple way to provide you with labelname and TT's. In the attached Worddoc you 'll find some details, a tracklist (screenshots) and three cuefiles (EAC).

And yes: could not find this albus at jsbach.org nor bach-cantatas.

Aryeh Oron wrote (February 12, 2006):
[To Willem Varenk] The /BCML cannot accept attachments.

If you want all members to see the content of the Word document, please copy it into your message and send it to the BRML.

Willem Varenk wrote (February 12, 2006):
Here is the additional information:

On the cd's is only written: "Matthäus Passion, Johann Sebastian Bach, Compact Disc digital audio, Biem/Stemra " and a text about all rights of the producer and the owner, copying, broadcasting etc. etc.prohibited.
The cd's (and the cases) are numbered PAL311-A, PAL-311-B and PAL311-C.
On the back of the covers is written: "A product from Holland, made in the European Union, 1998 BIEM/STEMRA."
And: "Licensed From The Product Exchange"
And: "Marketed and distributed by Weton-Wesgram B.V. Oud Beijerland, The Netherlands" (the company that could not provide more information).

Tracklist:
CD1
101 Kommt ihr Töchter, helft mir klagen (Nr. 1a).
Nr. 1a - 21:06
102 Da Jesus diese Rede vollendet hatte (Nr. 2).
Nr. 2 - 2:07
103 Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen (Nr. 3).
Nr. 3 - 2:10
104 Da versammelten sich die Hohenpriester (Nr. 4a, 4b, 4c, 4d, 4e).
Nr. 4a, 4b, 4c, 4d, 4e - 10:00
105 Du lieber Heiland, du (Nr. 5).
Nr. 5 - 2:31
106 Buss und Reu (Nr. 6).
Nr. 6 - 11:39
107 Da ging hin der Zwölfen einer (Nr. 7).
Nr. 7 - 1:33
108 Blute nur, du liebes Herz (Nr. 8).
Nr. 8 - 12:20
109 Aber am ersten Tage der süssen Brot (Nr. 9a, 9b, 9c, 9d, 9e).
Nr. 9a, 9b, 9c, 9d, 9e - 7:22
110 Ich bin's, ich sollte büssen (Nr. 10).
Nr. 10 - 2:26
111 Er antwortete und sprach (Nr. 11).
Nr. 11 - 9:12
112 Wiewohl mein Herz (Nr. 12).
Nr. 12 - 4:08
113 Ich will dir mein Herze schenken (Nr. 13).
Nr. 13 - 9:44
114 Und da sie den Lobgesang gesprochen hatten (Nr. 14).
Nr. 14 - 3:29
115 Erkenne mich, mein Hüter (Nr. 15).
Nr. 15 - 3:01
116 Petrus aber antwortete und sprach zu ihm (Nr. 16).
Nr. 16 - 3:28
117 Ich will hier bei dir stehen (Nr. 17).
Nr. 17 - 3:00
118 Da kam Jesus mit ihnen zu einem Hofe (Nr. 18).
Nr. 18 - 5:03
119 O Schmerz (Nr. 19).
Nr. 19 - 5:26
120 Ich will bei meinem Jesu wachen (Nr. 20).
Nr. 20 - 13:36
121 Und ging hin ein wenig (Nr. 21).
Nr. 21 - 2:34
122 Der Heiland fällt vor (Nr. 22).
Nr. 22 - 2:55
123 Gerne will ich mich bequemen (Nr. 23).
Nr. 23 - 12:14
124 Und er kam zu seinen Jüngern (Nr. 24).
Nr. 24 - 4:33
125 Was mein Gott will g'scheht allzeit (Nr. 25).
Nr. 25 - 2:53

CD2
201 Und er kam und fand sie aber (Nr. 26).
Nr. 26 - 7:35
202 So ist mein Jesus nun gefangen (Nr. 27a, 27b).
Nr. 27a, 27b - 11:20
203 Und siehe, einder aus denen (Nr. 28).
Nr. 28 - 7:28
204 O Mensch, bewein dein Súnde gross (Nr. 29).
Nr. 29 - 16:10
205 Ach, nun ist mein Jesu hin (Nr. 30).
Nr. 30 - 10:58
206 Die aber Jesum gegriffen hatten (Nr. 31).
Nr. 31 - 2:51
207 Mir hat die Welt trüglich gericht (Nr. 32).
Nr. 32 - 2:01
208 Und wiewohl viel falschen Zeuge herzutraten (Nr. 33).
Nr. 33 - 3:29
209 Mein Jesus schweigt (Nr. 34).
Nr. 34 - 2:49
210 Geduld (Nr. 35).
Nr. 35 - 9:14
211 Und der Hohenpriester antwortete (Nr. 36a, 36b, 36c, 36d).
Nr. 36a, 36b, 36c, 36d - 6:21
212 Wer hat dich so geschlagen (Nr. 37).
Nr. 37 - 2:21
213 Petrus aber sass draussen im Palast (Nr. 38a, 38b, 38c).
Nr. 38a, 38b, 38c - 6:22
214 Erbarme dich (Nr. 39).
Nr. 39 - 16:36
215 Bin ich gleich von dir gewichen (Nr. 40).
Nr. 40 - 2:37
216 Des Morgens aber hielten alle Hohenpriester (Nr. 41a, 41b, 41c).
Nr. 41a, 41b, 41c - 5:08
217 Gebt mir meinem Jesu wieder (Nr. 42).
Nr. 42 - 8:33
218 Sie hielten aber einen Rat (Nr. 43).
Nr. 43 - 5:57
219 Befiehl du deine Wege (Nr. 44).
Nr. 44 - 2:45
220 Auf das Fest aber hatte der Landpfleger die Gewohnheit (Nr. 45a, 45b).
Nr. 45a, 45b - 6:49
221 Wie wunderbarlich ist doch diese Strafe (Nr. 46).
Nr. 46 - 2:08
222 Der Landpfleger sagte (Nr. 47).
Nr. 47 - 0:47
223 Er hat uns allen wohlgetan (Nr. 48).
Nr. 48 - 3:23
224 Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben (Nr. 49).
Nr. 49 - 11:50

CD3
301 Sie schrieen aber noch mehr (Nr. 50a, 50b, 50c, 50d, 50e).
Nr. 50a, 50b, 50c, 50d, 50e - 5:40
302 Erbarm es, Gott (Nr. 51).
Nr. 51 - 2:35
303 Können Tränen meiner Wangen (Nr. 52).
Nr. 52 - 17:43
304 Da nahmen die Kriegsknechte (Nr. 53a, 53b, 53c).
Nr. 53a, 53b, 53c - 2:54
305 O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden (Nr. 54).
Nr. 54 - 5:44
306 Und da sie ihm verspottet hatten (Nr. 55).
Nr. 55 - 2:38
307 Ja freilich will (Nr. 56).
Nr. 56 - 1:40
308 Komm, süsses Kreuz (Nr. 57).
Nr. 57 - 16:38
309 Und da sie an die Stätte kamen (Nr. 58a, 58b, 58c, 58d, 58e).
Nr. 58a, 58b, 58c, 58d, 58e - 9:55
310 Ach Golgatha (Nr. 59).
Nr. 59 - 4:25
311 Sehet, Jesus hat die Hand (Nr. 60).
Nr. 60 - 8:53
312 Und von der sechsten Stunde an (Nr. 61a, 61b, 61c, 61d, 61e).
Nr. 61a, 61b, 61c, 61d, 61e - 7:13
313 Wenn ich einmal soll scheiden (Nr. 62).
Nr. 62 - 4:51
314 Und siehe da (Nr. 63a, 63b, 63c).
Nr. 63a, 63b, 63c - 7:37
315 Am Abend da es kühle war (Nr. 64).
Nr. 64 - 5:48
316 Mache dich, mein Herze, rein (Nr. 65).
Nr. 65 - 17:52
317 Und Joseph nam den Leib (Nr. 66a, 66b, 66c).
Nr. 66a, 66b, 66c - 7:01
318 Nun ist der herr zur Ruh gebracht (Nr. 67).
Nr. 67 - 5:43
319 Wir setzen uns mit Tränen nieder (Nr. 68).
Nr. 68 - 14:39

Willem Varenk wrote (February 13, 2006):
Here is the solution:

At another site, two people did some resarch.. Their conclusion was: Marinov, Sofia Radio Orchestra and Choir.

But.......
I own the Marinov version and the "Mystery Matthew" is NOT Marinov. The tenor sounds different and the TT of Marinov is 210:03 while "Mystery Matthew" runs 185:19. However: at yet another site a helpful spanish musiclover found this:

Searching for the licenser "The Product Exchange", you can find this catalogue: http://www.productexchange.co.uk/prodx/classical.htm and a register with this info: J.S.Bach - St Matthew Passion (Complete) - Heid. CO/Gottsche.

Then, in the marvelous www.bach-cantatas.com you can find a bio about the conductor: Heinz Markus Göttsche and his discography, including a complete
recording from the 60's: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Gottsche.htm

And the timings seems to match ...

Furthermore: my guess was that the tenor was someone from EasternEurope. A Norwegian musiclover's opinion is that it could be a scandinavian tenor. When we combine this with the fact that the tenor's name at the Heidelberger Kammerchor / Göttsche version is named Matti Juhani Piipponen, sounds Finnish to me,I think we can conclude by now that the "Mystery Matthew" is indeed the Göttsche-version.

And that is what -independently and by yet other ways- this same Norwegian found out as well

Mystery Solved!!

Thanks for your helpfolks!

Sw Anandgyan wrote (February 13, 2006):
[To Willem Varenk] If my memory serves me well, this is a Stephen Cleobury recording that I once glanced at.

Aryeh Oron wrote (February 13, 2006):
[To Willem Varenk] To confirm the proposed solution, I suggest that you upload a movement (for example, the opening chorus, mp3 format) from the mysterious recording into the file section of the BRML. Another option is sending it to me OFF-LIST and I shall upload it into the BCW.

In that way every member has the possibility of comparing it to the recordings at his/her disposal.

Willem Varenk wrote (February 13, 2006):
Quote: < To confirm the proposed solution, I suggest that you upload a movement (for example, the opening chorus, mp3 format) from the mysterious recording into the file section of the BRML.... > end quote
The opening "Kommt ihr Tochter" is a rather large file, so I've uploaded the track "Und da sie ihm verspottet hatten..." into the files-section. That is nr 55: track 6 from the third disc.

Aryeh Oron wrote (February 13, 2006):
Willem Varenk wrote:
"I've uploaded the track "Und da sie ihm verspottet hatten..." into the files-section. That is nr 55: track 6 from the third disc."
That's the one. What an impressive Evangelist Piipponen was!
BTW, his bio at the BCW was contributed by his wife.

Willem Varenk wrote (February 13, 2006):
Matthew Passion, sung in...............Dutch

http://www.aliendata.nl/videoplayer/sites/index.php?sid=17

I know of SMP's in german of course, I know of some in english. There seems to exist a french version and I own the swedish version by Ahlen. Rumours are that even a recording exists in Norwegian.

And from March 8 2006 there will be a Dutch version for sale. Interesting, I'm curious!

Craig Chase wrote (February 13, 2006):
[To Willem Varenk] I'm waiting for a version in the original Aramaic ;-)

Tom Hens wrote (February 14, 2006):
[To Willem Varenk] Given that the translation is by Jan Rot, I wouldn't hold out much hope for the quality of the text. Rot is a singer/songwriter who fancies himself a poet. He's also tried his hand at translations of Schubert songs into Dutch. They weren't exactly greeted with much critical acclaim.

The main question though is: why? Who needs such a translation? Is there really anybody in the Netherlands who's interested enough in Bach to listen to the St. Matthew Passion, but doesn't understand enough German to follow the text? There was a period just after WW II when putting on performances in German was so politically sensitive that an earlier Dutch translation (by the poet Jan Engelman) of the MP was often used for the huge numbers of performances that are traditionally put on each year in the Netherlands, but that practice died a quiet, merciful death pretty quickly. There must be old recordings of at least parts of that version around, though probably mostly hidden away in radio archives and the like.

 

Some SMPs

Sw Anandgyan wrote (April 7, 2006):
The urge to listen to Bach was dormant and replaced by an interest in Italian Baroque and Renaissance music then arrived the latest Maatheüs-Passion on the Naxos label and after acquiring it, decided to compare my impressions while listening to some other versions with modern instruments.

This is what I've listened to so far:

[Helmut Müller-Brüh on Naxos]
It felt like a gayish passion it was so light footed and seemed to lack gravitas. I was very impressed with the dizzying take on the duo #35 (?)

[Karl Münchiger on London]
This one upon listening I felt like the conductor was in the zone, a lot worked for me as with the tempos, the fluidity and the beautiful singing of some soloists.

[Rudolf & Erhard Mauersberger on edel]
Oh this is imposing, quite impressive with much 'seriousness' alas sometimes it seems to roll squarely to my ears, not quite fluid like the Müller-Brühl though with many sumptuous moments.

[Wolfgang Gönnenwein]
Maybe this is one that was first among recordings with a chamber music feel à la Müller-Brühl. This one has struck me as a fine balanced act with an efficient reading of the script.

[Otto Klemperer on EMI]
Indeed quite unique, so pungent and very focused when you're in the mood for it. An event, I'd like to know more about Peter Pears rerecording his vocal tracks unbeknown to Klemperer.

[Helmuth Rilling on Hässler]
This is good. No revelation, no deception.

At this point I realized that I will probably listen to Eugen Jochum tomorrow and since this ain't a systematic review of some CDs I have, I'll send this and ask about your favourite SMP nowadays.

On my end, I have discovered that there is much more than the 'Erbarme Dich' aria and though I'm quite adamant to listen to the whole thing in one sitting,
Maybe CD 2 is the one to choose when only an hour can be permitted for music.

 

Bach's Passions Are Revealed From Different Angles

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (April 11, 2006):
Since the NY Times requires registration, I am forwarding this without comment.
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/11/arts/music/

New York Times - Music

Critic's Notebook
Bach's Passions Are Revealed From Different Angles

By ANTHONY TOMMASINI
Published: April 11, 2006

Imagine how different the history of music might have been had Bach been interested in opera. Suppose that instead of heading to Leipzig, Germany, in 1723 to become the cantor at the St. Thomas Church, he had settled in Dresden, where audiences had an insatiable passion for Italian opera.

But Bach had a higher calling: composing music for the church. In a letter to the Leipzig town electors he promised church music that "shall not last too long" and "shall be of such a nature as not to make an operatic
impression, but rather incite the listeners to devotion."

Well, Bach did not entirely adhere to those goals in two of his colossal masterpieces, the "St. John Passion" and the "St. Matthew Passion." Neither is remotely an opera. Instead, the story of Jesus' crucifixion is mostly told by the Evangelist, and the narrative is regularly interrupted with timeouts for ruminative arias and reflective chorales.

Still, these scores abound with such visceral drama and operatic sweep that directors have periodically been tempted to stage them. Complete productions with costumes and scenery never succeed. But for the "St. Matthew Passion," the director Jonathan Miller, aided by the conductor Paul Goodwin, found a halfway approach. Mr. Miller dressed the chorus and orchestra members in everyday modern clothing and placed them in a circle so that they could face each other and enact the story while they performed it.

When presented at the Harvey Theater of the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1997 and 2001, Mr. Miller's staging of the "St. Matthew" proved a revelation. It returned on Saturday night in a singable English translation based on Robert Shaw's, with Mr. Goodwin conducting.

For contrast, on April 4 at St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue, Bach lovers had a chance to hear the "St. John Passion" presented much the way the composer had intended: performed as a sacred work by the church's renowned choir of men and boys, with strong soloists and a fine ensemble of period-instrument players, Concert Royal. John Scott, the organist and director of music at St. Thomas, conducted.

Just hearing these two works within five days - the "St. Matthew" so noble and severe, the "St. John" more volatile and graphic - was privilege enough. The opportunity to compare these very different approaches was another enticement.

With inspired theatrical instincts, Bach gave the chorus in each passion multiple roles to play. They are Jesus' disciples and also the priests who call for his crucifixion; they portray the Jewish elders as well as baffled onlookers in Jerusalem. Most moving, the chorus members also become penitent souls in the present, reflecting on the mystery of Jesus' life.

In his staging of the "St. Matthew," Mr. Miller takes Bach's concept of multiple roles for the chorus seriously and makes it startlingly real. The musicians and choristers, arrayed in jeans, slacks and sweaters, are encircled by the audience, breaking down the divide between participants and witnesses.

Though the staging is minimal, the effect created is riveting. The Evangelist, here the plaintive tenor Rufus Müller, sits at a long wooden table with a loaf of bread and a tumbler of wine readied for the enactment of the Last Supper. From his first wistful phrases, he proved an involving and trustworthy storyteller.

The dramatic conflicts are made more gripping right from the opening chorus. Half of the choristers almost frantically implore their brethren to come and mourn Jesus: "See Him! The Bridegroom see! A Lamb is He." The other choristers, looking confused, rustle in their seats and shout back, almost annoyed: "Whom? How? What?"

Jesus, as affectingly sung by the bass Curtis Streetman, is a husky, shaggy-haired, intense young man in black jeans, sneakers and a blood-red shirt. In some of his most pitiable moments, Mr. Streetman simply reacts and listens, as in the sublime aria for tenor and chorus when Jesus prays in the garden of Gethsemane while his disciples (the other half of the chorus) slumber in their chairs.

In another unforgettable moment, Joshua South, a wholesome-looking young bass from the chorus taking the small role of the disciple Peter, having denied his savior three times, slumps in a chair, cradlihis head in his hands, grief-stricken and ashamed. As he silently weeps, the countertenor Daniel Taylor, hovering over him, sings a comforting aria. Nearby, Jesus looks on, his body slouched in sadness.

The staging would not be so effective if the musical performance were not so dynamic. To be free to act, the vocal soloists and chorus perform this long and complex work from memory, a feat in itself. The baritone Stephen Varcoe, the soprano Suzie LeBlanc, the tenor Nils Brown and, especially, the rich-voiced mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabo were the other rewarding soloists. Mr. Goodwin drew an urgent and sensitive performance from the excellent orchestra.

Though the concert presentation of the "St. John Passion" at St. Thomas Church was in every way traditional, it had a different kind of searing impact because of the integrity and beauty of the performance. Inevitably, musical details were blurred by the reverberant acoustics of the spacious church. But Mr. Scott turned this to advantage. In the opening chorus, as the strings churned out Bach's undulant 16th-note figures, the sound was like an ominous murmur starting in the distance and creeping steadily closer, until the chorus burst forth with the cries of "Herr! Herr!" and pleaded with the Lord to "show us your Passion."

The St. Thomas Choir, with 24 boys and 15 men, was remarkable. The well-trained boys from the choir school dispatched Bach's ornate and wayward vocal lines with utter confidence and radiantly pure sound. It was somewhat frightening to see little children portraying the avenging crowd shouting to Pilate that Jesus is an "evildoer."

The tenor Mark Bleeke as the Evangelist and the bass Craig Phillips as Jesus gave elegant yet impetuous performances. The soprano Julianne Baird was a standout among the able soloists. There was no sense of an interpretive agenda in Mr. Scott's conducting. Everything was direct, expressive and clear. He took an almost grammatical approach in the chorales, shaping phrases so that the sense of the German texts came first.

In his Passions Bach found a way to compose stunning musical dramas while steering clear of opera. Still, it is fascinating to wonder what he might have done. After all, he could have taught Bellini a thing or two about how to write a long-spun melody for the voice. And in the handling of crowd scenes, Verdi could not top Bach for operatic punch.

The "St. Matthew Passion" continues through Saturdayat theBrooklyn Academyof Music, 30 Lafayette Avenue, at Ashland Place, Fort Greene;(718) 636-4100.

===========================
End

 

More SMPs

Sw Anandgyan wrote (April 21, 2006):
After acquiring the Helmut Müller-Brühl on Naxos, I've listened to all my modern-instruments versions, but Karl Richter on Archiv ...

On Monday, I was able to land the latest SMP from Ton Koopman issued on Antone-Marchand at one of my favourite second-hand record store and after just one listen, I find it quite theatrical and with some ornementations sprinkled here and there but that is a very subjective thing to say without proper detailing but ... I got the music if not the visuals ( It's not the DVD version )

So, once more the German reviewers are cheering ...
( Klassic- Heute: http://snipurl.com/pi60 )
(Klassic Magazine: http://snipurl.com/pi67 )

... and a French one is not too pleased
( Classic Today France: http://snipurl.com/pi69 )

because of too much swiftness and a lack of emotions.

I listened to John Eliot Gardiner on Archiv and now I'm listening to Ton Kooopman's first rendition on Erato ... which seems to have a more leisurely pacing than the live version just issued.

Any new Mattheüs-Passion on your end?

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 21, 2006):
< Any new Mattheüs-Passion on your end? >
The Radio 4 Netherlands link is still available, as of this morning: http://portal.omroep.nl/radio4
That link to the free internet streaming might be deleted from their web site at any time, as it has already been there for a week.... They broadcast it last Thursday as part of their regular afternoon programming. So, if you plan to listen to it, hurry!

That is of a live performance from earlier this month by the Netherlands Bach Society, dir. Jos van Veldhoven. One singer per part (in the chorus), and using my reconstructed Bach temperament on all the continuo keyboards.

I've listened to it twice this week over computer speakers, and am hoping to get a CD dub of it from the producers....

Details about the tuning are here: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpl/larips/vocal.html

 

My "new" SMP

Rick Canyon wrote (April 24, 2006):
I recently picked up this book from Amazon: Amazon.com

The text of the SMP is accompanied by around 100 pages of famous paintings depicting the Good Friday story. Sort of a coffeetable book.

Also included with the book is the Mauersberger SMP on 3 CDs. A 4th CD has the Rotzsch/Thomanerchor recordings of cantatas BWV 4, BWV 34, BWV 134.

All this for $18.87.

There are a number of other titles in this series from Earbooks: http://www.earbooks.net/en_ausstatt.html most of which seem to only be availabe on Amazon.de (30 Euros each) The Christmas Oratorio book includes the Flamig/DKC recording as well as Rotzsch/TC recordings of Cantatas BWV 36, BWV 61, BWV 140

 

1829 MP question

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (June 17, 2006):
I do recall reading here maybe six months ago an article-review of a performance/forthcoming threatened recording of the Mendelssohn 1829 monstrosity. I have looked in the website article collection for it recently and could not find it. Perhaps it was merely a hyperlink and not in the archives articles.

If I ever want to torture myself, I will listen to it, if it exists.

Help appreciated,

Douglas Cowling wrote (June 17, 2006):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman] There is a recording of it but the performers' names escape me at the moment. In fact it is quite a striking "arrangement". There are many, many brilliant Mendelssohnian touches. In the opening chorus, he has the four soloists sing the ripieno choir chorale in unison. Although it is manifestly not Bach's intention, the effect is one of introducing the solo voices which are about to tell the narrative. The fortepiano is quite lovely and very expressive in the recitatives.

I would place it in the same category of Mozart's arrangement of "Messiah" where he discretely adds extra counterpoint and gives the whole work a symphonic patina.

As always, these arrangements tell us more about the composer-arrangers than they do about Bach or Handel. Well worth a listen when well-performed.

Aryeh Oron wrote (June 18, 2006):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman] The are two recordings of Mendelssohn's SMP, both of the 1841 version:
Christoph Spering: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV244-Rec6.htm [67]
Diego Fasolis: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV244-Rec6.htm [80]
I am not aware of any recording of the 1829 version.

You can find discussions of both recordings at the pages:
Spering: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV244-Spering.htm
Fasolis: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV244-Fasolis.htm

And of the 1829 version at:
Norrington: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV244-Norrington.htm
If thisperformance was recorded it has yet been released.

I hope you would find enough reading material at these pages.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (June 18, 2006):
Aryeh Oron wrote:
< The are two recordings of Mendelssohn's SMP, both of the 1841 version:
Christoph Spering:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV244-Rec6.htm [67]
Diego Fasolis: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV244-Rec6.htm [80]
I am not aware of any recording of the 1829 version. >
I have long had the Spering and that of course is a different matter.

< And of the 1829 version at:
Norrington:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV244-Norrington.htm
If this performance was recorded it has yet been released. >
That is probably what I read, thanks for the reference.

 

Continue on Part 12

Matthäus-Passion BWV 244: Details
Recordings: 1900-1949 | 1950-1959 | 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2009 | 2010-2019 | Individual Movements
General Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | BWV 244a | BWV 244b
Systemetic Discussions:
Part 1: Mvts. 1-8 | Part 2: Mvts. 9-20 | Part 3: Mvts. 21-29 | Part 4: Mvts. 30-40 | Part 5: Mvts. 41-50 | Part 6: Mvts. 51-57 | Part 7: Mvts. 58-63b | Part 8: Mvts. 63c-68 | Part 9: Role of the Evangelist
Individual Recordings:
BWV 244 - L. Bernstein | BWV 244 - F. Brüggen | BWV 244 - J. Butt | BWV 244 - R. Chailly | BWV 244 - S. Cleobury | BWV 244 - J. Daus | BWV 244 - D. Fasolis | BWV 244 - W. Furtwängler | BWV 244 - J.E. Gardiner | BWV 244 - W. Gönnenwein | BWV 244 - P. Goodwin | BWV 244 - E.z. Guttenberg | BWV 244 - N. Harnoncourt | BWV 244 - P. Herreweghe | BWV 244 - R. Jacques | BWV 244 - H.v. Karajan | BWV 244 - O. Klemperer | BWV 244 - T. Koopman | BWV 244 - S. Koussevitzky | BWV 244 - S. Kuijken | BWV 244 - F. Lehmann | BWV 244 - G. Leonhardt | BWV 244 - P.J. Leusink | BWV 244 - E.&R. Mauersberger | BWV 244 - H. Max | BWV 244 - P. McCreesh | BWV 244 - W. Mengelberg | BWV 244 - K. Münchinger | BWV 244 - R. Norrington | BWV 244 - G. Oberfrank | BWV 244 - S. Ozawa | BWV 244 - A. Parrott | BWV 244 - G. Ramin | BWV 244 - S. Rattlr | BWV 244 - K. Richter | BWV 244 - H. Rilling | BWV 244 - H.J. Rotzsch | BWV 244 - H. Scherchen | BWV 244 - G. Solti | BWV 244 - C. Spering | BWV 244 - M. Suzuki | BWV 244 - J.v. Veldhoven | BWV 244 - B. Walter | BWV 244 - F. Werner | BWV 244 - M. Wöldike
Articles:
Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244 [T.N. Towe] | Two Easter St. Matthew Passions (Plus One) [U. Golomb] | St. Matthew Passion from Harnoncourt [D. Satz] | The Passion according to Saint Matthew BWV 244 [J. Rifkin] | The Relationship between BWV 244a (Trauermusik) and BWV 244b (SMP Frühfassung) [T. Braatz] | Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 - Early History (A Selective, Annotated Bibliography) [W. Hoffman] | Spiritual Sources of Bach's St. Matthew Passion [W. Hoffman] | Bach and the "Great Passion" [D.G. Lebut Jr.] | The Genesis of Bach's `Great Passion': 1724-29 [W. Hoffman] | Early Performances of Bach's SMP [T. Braatz]

Recordings & Discussions of Other Vocal Works: Main Page | Motets BWV 225-231 | Mass in B minor BWV 232 | Missae Breves & Sanctus BWV 233-242 | Magnificat BWV 243 | Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 | Johannes-Passion BWV 245 | Lukas-Passion BWV 246 | Markus-Passion BWV 247 | Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248 | Oster-Oratorium BWV 249 | Chorales BWV 250-438 | Geistliche Lieder BWV 439-507 | AMN BWV 508-523 | Quodlibet BWV 524 | Aria BWV 1127

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Last update: żOctober 8, 2006 ż19:44:11